Having started with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Pendergrass left that band in 1977 and embarked on a staggering solo career, earning a string of platinum discs: an impossibly handsome, virile man with a rich and sensuous voice. Then a car accident in 1982 left him quadriplegic. A therapist talked him out of ending his own life, helped by his children and his formidable churchgoing mother, and Pendergrass came back with more hit records and a moving appearance at Live Aid in Philadelphia, singing from his wheelchair.
You would need a heart of stone to hear the late soul singer Teddy Pendergrass without being thrilled – or hear of his personal ordeal without being moved. This documentary tells his story respectfully and in detail, but something doesn’t quite work.